MakeupDirector Launched for Makeup Artists

Most image editing applications are of a general nature, with tools designed to work with a wide range of imagery. In the case of Photoshop, its plugin architecture has made it possible for third-party developers to create products that add functionality to meet the needs of specific users. Avenza Systems' Geographic Imager plugin, for example, adds tools and technology to support the import, editing, manipulation and export of geospatial images. Then there's Ocean Systems' ClearID, designed to clarify images that will serve as evidence in a legal context. And there are many other examples of such specialized plugins.

Another example of specialized editing functionality is portrait optimization. Photoshop doesn't have much to offer in this case, with the notable exception of Face-Aware Liquify. This was added in the June release and operates by detecting facial features and providing sliders to tweak such elements as eye, nose, mouth and face shape characteristics. This was also added to the recent release of Elements, while Photoshop CC 2017 will apparently allow users to adjust each eye separately, as shown at right.

While handy enough, there's still a lot of room for additional portrait-related functionality. No surprise, then, that developers have stepped up to provide plugins and applications to fill the gap, such as Anthropics' PortraitPro, which provides a broad spectrum of slider-based tweaking. Its approach is an unusual one, in that the program bases its range of changes on thousands of photos of "beautiful human faces." Of course, what constitutes beauty isn't fixed but rather is a factor of time, place and many other factors. But that's a philosophical discussion for another day.

A new contender in the beautification space is MakeupDirector, from Cyberlink. Last month we looked at the firm's PhotoDirector photo editing program, which contained a number of tools for such things as enlarging eyes, slimming faces, smoothing skin, removing blemishes and so on. But MakeupDirector differs in that it's designed for "augmenting the workflow of makeup artists through the application of flawlessly realistic digital makeup," something that no other program claims to do. The idea is that makeup pros can apply different looks to client photos, making it easier for them to choose what works best for them, particularly in specific lighting conditions, which is handy for studio shoots. That's interesting enough but users also have a benefit in being able to connect MakeupDirector with the Beauty Circle site, described as "an interactive community of beauty lovers and enthusiasts," where they can browse and download complete makeup looks, as well as share their own designs. In fact, if you sign up for Beauty Circle access, MakeupDirector is currently provided at no charge.

If you've read this far you probably already know if MakeupDirector is something that might be useful to you. The next step is to give the trial version a spin to see if the slider-based adjustment environment makes sense. MakeupDirector for Mac and Windows can be purchased for $49.99 on the Cyberlink site.